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The Men Behind GPS Just Won a Prestigious Engineering Prize. Not on the Prize List: a Woman

Article here. Excerpt:

'It’s an innovation that allows you to pinpoint your earthly location with just the phone in your pocket; it helps drivers navigate tricky routes, and it can even direct rescuers to stricken people in disaster zones. But Dr. Bradford Parkinson wasn’t able to use his brainchild, GPS, to stop himself getting lost in London, he quipped on Tuesday, as he and three others were named winners of the £1 million ($1.29m) Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering.
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The judges did consider West for the award, the chairman of the judging panel, Christopher Snowden, told TIME. But they eventually decided against it because she didn’t make a “fundamental” contribution to GPS technology, he said. “She made immense contributions in some of the algorithmic work, but it wasn’t related to the actual fundamentals,” Snowden said. “You can’t give everybody a prize. So you have to look for those who really were the leaders and the key contributors to this. And that’s what we did in this particular case.”

But that answer, Imafidon said, exposed the marginalizing structures that first keep women and minorities away from STEM fields, and then sweep their achievements under the rug when they overcome great odds to succeed. “I am gutted that they did not see fit to take this opportunity to recognize the varied achievements of different people involved in the GPS project, on what sounds like a technicality,” she said. “You set the rules.”'

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